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Violence marks strike; CM assures probe

Written by: Staff
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Imphal, Mar 04: Life in Manipur was paralysed following an 18-hour general strike called in protest against the alleged molestation of a girl in police custody.

The strike which started lastnight will continue till 1800 hrs today. All inter state bus services were cancelled today in view of the strike and business establishments were closed.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has appealed to all to maintain calm and allow peaceful conduct of examinations. He assured punishment would be given to all the personnel involved in the incident.

All available forces have been called out to control the situation and to conduct the ongoing HSLC and HSLLC examinations, which were held today amid tight security arrangements.

All the students' and women organisations yesterday decided to call the general strike to protest the harassment and molestation of the girl of Thoubal district for allegedly having an affair with a militant- Vikas, who is suspected to have been involved in the killing of four policemen at Thoubal on February 20.

Medical tests were also conducted on the girl yesterday at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), here after she complained that she was 'stripped and molested'. She alleged that water was poured on her and she was beaten up by the policemen.

Large scale violence was reported from different parts, officials said. Strike supporters burnt government offices in different parts of Imphal. The effigy of the Chief Minister was also burnt. Roads were blocked with burnt tyres and barricades put up to stop movement of any sort of vehicles in various parts of the state.

However, the Chief Minister said a magisterial inquiry will be ordered.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) by over a dozen organisations on the issue has demanded resignation of the Chief Minister. The Committee alleged that a lady magistrate had failed to take notice of the harassment meted out to the girl in police custody and demanded that she be punished.

Clarifying on the issue the Chief Minister said the government will not interfere in the due process of the law.

The issue was also raised at the Manipur Assembly during the last two days by the Opposition and the ruling MLAs urging the government to do something on the issue as it was a shameful act.

UNI

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